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Foreclosure & Predatory Lending Reform: Multi-State Agenda Campaign Update

Given the enormous foreclosure crisis across the nation, there has been a wide range of foreclosure reforms proposed across the country (see NCSL's partial list here). PSN has identified four key reforms for 2010, including promoting mediation before foreclosure, protecting tenants in the foreclosure process, holding buyers of foreclosed buildings accountable for maintaining them to prevent blight and potentially discourage additional foreclosures, and offering those who have been foreclosed on a chance to rent their old homes to stabilize communities.

Mediation:  Highlights for action on mediation in 2010 include the Vermont HB 590, a mandatory mediation program currently in conference committee. Minnesota is debating its Homeowner-Lender Mediation Act (SF 2170 /H.F. 2613), a revised version of a bill passed last year to encourage mediation and vetoed by their governor.  The Maryland Legislature approved HB 472, a mediation bill originally pushed by Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown that is currently awaiting Gov. O'Malley's signature.  Five other states are still debating mediation bills: Massachusetts H.B. 1649, New York A.B. 8236 and A.B. 8945, Ohio S.B. 197/H.B. 306, Pennsylvania H.B. 1042, and Tennessee H.B. 235.  Unfortunately, mediation bills failed this year in California (A.B. 1588) and Wisconsin (S.B. 255).

Maintenance of Property:  Indiana passed H.B. 1122, which allows for abatement of vacant or abandoned structures.  In Ohio, a comprehensive bill to force buyers of foreclosed property to maintain them, HB 323, awaits its third House reading.  Other maintenance of property bills still pending include Massachusetts' H.B. 3890, Minnesota's H.F. 1698/H.F. 1887, New Jersey's A.B. 203, and Oklahoma's SB 1360.  New York's A.B. 5358/A.B. 6161 failed to pass.

Tenant Protection:  Bills protecting renters in foreclosed properties were also widely introduced across the country, including pending bills in Illinois (H.B. 2483), Massachusetts (H.B. 3571 and H.B. 1232), Michigan (H.B. 4211), New York (A.B. 2703), Ohio (S.B. 13), Rhode Island (H.B. 7045), South Carolina (H.B. 3567), and Tennessee (H.B. 369 and H.B. 1394.  Good bills that failed include California's A.B. 603, and Wisconsin's A.B. 107/S.B. 78, while Florida's H.B. 125 failed due to adjournment.

Right to Rent: Facing some of the worst foreclosure crises in the country, Arizona legislators have proposed one of the most comprehensive plans, HB 2765, that includes not only mediation, tenant protection, and maintenance of property provisions.  Arizona was one of the only states pioneering policy to give previous owners of foreclosed properties the opportunity to continue to live at their homes as renters, but unfortunately the bill failed due to adjournment.  New Jersey also introduced right-to-rent bill, A.B. 1441, which is still pending.

For model legislation, talking points, analysis of recent cases, ideas for messaging, a list of allies, and reports on the subject, please visit our Foreclosure and Predatory Lending Reforms campaign page at http://www.progressivestates.org/sharedagenda/1849.

To view a full map of foreclosure reform bills moving in the states, please click the map above, or click here.

For model legislation, talking points, analysis of recent cases, ideas for messaging, a list of allies, and reports on the subject, please visit our Foreclosure Reforms campaign page.